7/31/06 - Urge California Legislature to Pass Open Source Voting Law by Aug. 31

Stop the madness of machine-based voting by starting with eliminating secret software. This alert comes from Alan Dechert of OpenVotingConsortium.org:

The California State Legislature will resume business on August 7. The only way we can get our bill signed into law this year will be to inspire Debra Bowen to help "gut-and-amend" another bill. She has rarely supported gut-and-amend bills and this process is understood to be acceptable only in extraordinary circumstances. Assembly Member Jackie Goldberg wants to proceed and has phoned Senator Bowen about this.

We believe this to be an extraordinary case that warrants this dramatic action. Arguments against our bill (by McPherson and registrars) were predicated on a claim that vendors would not comply and would leave the state.

We knew this was nonsense and we have since proved it since Alameda County demanded and obtained Sequoia's agreement to comply (signed June 16th). Also, more revelations are coming out almost daily about problems with the vote counting process. This measure is urgently needed.

Please cut and paste the text below, sign it, and fax it to 916-772-5301.


1) "Gut-and-amend" involves taking some other bill that is still alive, but known to be going nowhere and replacing the text. If we get this done, the revived AB 2097 will take the number of the gutted bill. So, I refer to AB 2097 only to show what the revived bill will say.

2) The text of AB 2097 can be found here (type in "AB 2097"): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html

3) The fax number is good 24 hrs every day. If busy, try again. Late night (after 11 pm Pacific) and early morning (before 8 am Pacific) are least likely to be busy.


We have the right to know how our votes are counted. We know this intuitively. It is self-evident.

To secure this right, the law must be made clear on this point. Currently, it is too easy for governments and corporations to abridge this right. This right is routinely and systematically violated. California Assembly Member Jackie Goldberg's (D-Los Angeles) AB 2097 would require that all technical details of the inner workings of the voting machines be publicly disclosed. This law, if passed, would be an important step in the right direction and would support, supplement, and enhance other
initiatives to establish voting system transparency nationwide.

Time is of the essence. In what may have seemed like a fiscally prudent move, the bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations committee. Events since this happened more than two months ago have shown this to be a mistake.

We believe Goldberg's bill must be passed now, before August 31st (end of CA legislative session).

We call on California State Senator Debra Bowen, chairwoman of the Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee and chairwoman of the newly formed Senate Select Committee on the Integrity of Elections, to use all her powers to get this bill, or a similar bill, on the Governor's desk this year for approval.